517th Parachute Regimental Combat Team

Parachute Training
and
World War II Documents

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(pdf*)
Written Histories
1944 - Operation Anvil Intelligence Summary
1944 - Operation Dragoon After Action Reports
1945 - 7th Armored Division After-Action Report for January 1945
            includes the 517th 2nd Battalion attached (Task Force Seitz)
1945 - "517 PCT" Book - The "Blue Book"
1945 - "A Record of Company C"
1947-1948  - Blue Book Magazine articles
1949 - History of the 13th Airborne
1948-1949 - Attack of the 3rd Battalion, 517th Parachute Infantry Regimental Combat Team in the Vicinity of Bergstein, Germany, 4-8 February 1945 (Rhineland Campaign), Gohmert, Roland L. CPT; Fort Benning Infantry School (pdf*)   Maps: A, B, C, D, Chart1
1948-1949 - The Operations of the First Battalion  517 Parachute Infantry Regiment at Soy, Belgium, 22-24 December 1944; Cpt. Sydney M. Marks, Fort Benning Infantry School (pdf*)    Maps: A, B, C, D, D Overlay, D with Overlay
1949-1950 - The Operations of Company E, 517PRCT, in a River Crossing and an Attack at La Roquette, France, 27-28 August 1944; Cpt. Walter Irwin, Fort Benning Infantry School (pdf*)
1949-1950 - The Operations of the 551st PIB (attached to the 82nd and the 517th), in the Attack on Trois Ponts, Belgium, 2-7 January 1945; Cpt. Bill G. Smith, Fort Benning Infantry School (pdf*)   Maps: A, B, C, D, E, F, G, H
1985 - Paratrooper's Odyssey - A History of the 517th Parachute Combat Team
1985? - Chronicle* (A short chronicle of who, what, where, when by unit)
19?? - Order of Battle of the 517 - A graphical chronicle of the movements of the 517 by battalion (18.4 Mb pdf)
1987 - Aimé Léocard's Story of the French resistance (pdf*)
1988 - 517th PRCT - A Short History from Airborne Quarterly
  includes 460th short history and 596th short history
19?? - Original version of the 460th history as written by Fred Brown
1989 - Autobiography of PFC Howard W. Ruppel, F Co. Part 1, Part 2 (pdf*)
198?, 1989 - Autobiography of Eugene L. Brissey, E Co.
1993 - 'Battling Buzzards' : The Odyssey of the 517th Parachute Regimental Combat Team 1943-1945 by Gerald Astor; Paperback, Hardcover
2004 - Escapades autobiography by "W.T.W." (William T. Webb) 
1994 - L'Offensive Des Ardennes, by Eddy Monfort - Chapter about the 517th, translated by Dieter Laes
2004 - From Breckenridge to Bastogne by Merle McMorrow
2005 - WAR - My Story of the 517th, by Jim Mortensen 460th PFAB
2005? - Airborne Invasion of Southern France - Operation Dragoon, 1944
200? - The Schmidt Bergstein Attack - Jan-Feb 1945 by Myrle Travers, F Co.
2006 - Irma's Story - 1944-1945 by Irma Targnion
2007 November - Paras en Provence: Le 517th PRCT Dans Les Alpes Maritime
       from Armes Militaria Magazine  cover, article (pdf*)
2008 January - When Weather Changed History:  The Battle of the Bulge video on The Weather Channel
2009 March - A Chronology of the 517th PIR (focusing on 2nd Battalion and E Company) by Mark Landreth
Video Histories

A Cut Above

See fullsize

History of the 517th by

Lt. Gen. Richard Seitz

at the 517th Reunion, Savannah, GA

August 2005

 

 

VP Dick Cheney

at the 2007 reunion

Washington, DC

 

 

 

 

517th PIR marching near Logbierme, Belgium, Jan 16, 1945

From the National Archives

 

517 footage starts at minute 6:30

Oral Histories

Accounts of the 3rd Battalion atttack on Manhay  - 26 Dec 1944
Recorded at the 517th Annual Reunion , Oklahoma City, 04 June 2003
Lud Gibbons, Fred Harmon, John Guthrie, Cecil Doty, John Strojan, Ben Barrett, Bob Vaught

 

The Hürtgen Forest  Bergstein 1945 -  Part 1, Part 2, Part 3, Part 4 
by Lud Gibbons, 517th PRCT, from the
DropZone web site

 

History of the 517th - Lt. Gen. Dick Seitz at the Savannah, GA 517th Reunion
Recorded by Lance Anderson, August, 2005.

Supporting Documents
Operation Dragoon Drop Zones, annotated by Clark Archer
WWII Campaign Maps
WWII Casualty Reports (under construction)
Prayer of Les Quatre-Bras
???? - "What Can I Say?" poem by Lt. Dick Spencer
1985 - Paratrooper's Odyssey poem by Jack C. Casliglione
2003 - Commemorative drawing (pdf*)  provided by the WWII Airborne Demonstration Team at the June 2003 517th Reunion
History of the 517th Patch
Historical Archives

1942 - "Selection of the Parachutist" (pdf*) from Military Surgeon magazine,  Vol 91: pp 81-83; 1942. Military Review 22 No. 86: 64; 1942. 225.

1943 - Parachute School, Fort Benning - Parachute [Packing] Training
1943 - Parachute Training
1943 - Paratrooper Training Postcards- Fort Benning
1943 - Paratrooper Training - Fort Benning
1943 April 6 - 17th Airborne Information and Compliance (pdf*)
1943 May 10 - Letter to parents of new recruits from Lt. McKinley
1943 June 12 - "Prop Blast" Book
1943 - 17th Airborne Division football champs
1943 July 8 - Letter from Camp Toccoa, Pvt. James S. Slaten, B Co
1943 Aug - The Thunderbolt - August 1943 (pdf*)
1943 Aug 19 - Letter to Moms
1943 Sept - The Thunderbolt - Sept 1943 (pdf*) - excerpts
1943 Nov 23 - Postcard from Camp Mackall, Pvt. James S. Slaten, B Co
1943 Dec 4 - "Prop Blast" Book (cover only)
1943 - Christmas card from Camp Mackall
1943 - Christmas Greetings from the Men of the Five Seventeen
1943 Dec - The Thunderbolt - Dec 1943 - Lt. Col. J B Andersen and Joe David Brown
1944 - Parachute Injuries at Jump School - The Journal of Joint and Bone Surgery
1944 - Silk maps of Europe
1944 Jan - News clippings and paratrooper knife
1944 Jan 4 - Tennessee Maneuvers (pdf*)
1944 Jan 7 - Parachutists "Take Camp Mackall, The Charlotte [NC] News
1944 February - Equipment for Airborne Troops - Quartermaster Equipment for Special Forces (pdf*)
1944 Spring - Physical Fitness test results
1944 May 1 - Letter to 596th Wives and Mothers
1944 July 9 - Memorial Service - Italy (includes list of KIAs to date)
1944 August - "TOP SECRET"
1944 August 14 - A Company, Italy (1 MB)  found by Gilles Guignard
1944 August 15 - Flight Form - Plane #3 loading
1944 August 14 - video - First Airborne Task Force preparing for Operation Dragoon.  (See Bill Boyle)
1944  - MIA Telegram to the wife of Pvt. Joseph F. Van Ness, B Company
1944  - Mail Handling Procedure During the Invasion of Southern France
1944  - Bronze Star Citation for Burton Stadler
1944  - Ration menus from Southern France
1944 October 14 - Parachute Jump School Certificate (Italy)
1944 October 22 - Thunderbolt newspaper
1944 November 8 - Card from Southern France from Ray Wilson
1944 November 15 - General Orders #22   Good Conduct Medals and Combat Infantryman's Badge
1944 November 2 - General Orders 42 - Silver Star for T/4 Charles A. Derbin, Reg. HQ.
1944 November 8 - Card from Southern France from Ray Wilson
1944 November 22 - Letter from General Robert T Frederick announcing his departure from the First Airborne Task Force
1944 December 1 - Memorial Service (includes list of KIAs to date)
1944 Dec 3 - Liberty Pass front back
1944 - December -  Letters to mother of Sgt. Robert J. Miller, I Company (KIA)
1944 - December 9-21 - Photo of Soissons in northern France
1944 - Dec 14 - Hamburg Iowa Reporter - Dick Spencer's account of Howard Hensleigh in Les Arc  complete pdf version
1944 - Christmas Greetings (includes complete 1944 Team roster)
1944 - Christmas V-Card - blank copy
1944 - Christmas V-Cards from Charles Pugh and Vernon Glenn, 596th
1944 - Christmas V-Cards by Dick Spencer, done for the 3rd Battalion
1944 Dec 21-25 - excerpts from the History of the 36th Armored Infantry Regiment (1st Battalion of the 517th attached)
1945 Jan 06 - Starts and Stripes - War Correspondent's Notebook - Col de Braus;  Easton Express reprinted version
1945 Jan 19 - Commendation Letter to 1st Battalion from General M.B. Ridgway for actions of Dec 28, 1944.  Another copy annotated "Not to be published..."
1945 Jan 21 - War Correspondent's Notebook: Red Cross Man Makes 8 Jumps With Paratroopers
1945 Jan ? - War Correspondent's Notebook
1945 January - Croix de Guerre citation for Capt. James P. Birder
1945 ? - Special Orders for German-American Relations
1945 - Silver Star award for Bobby M. Liddell, for action on Feb 8th in Bergstein, Germany
1945 Feb 10 - 517th unit reported in Stars and Stripes
1945 Feb 11 - Telegram reporting Robert A. Harp KIA
1945 March 26 - Stars and Stripes - Largest Minefield
1945 March - "517 PCT" Book
1945 - April 30 - Bronze Star Awards (for actions in France, Belgium and Germany)
1945 - April - News Clippings about the 3rd Bn "Leftovers"
1945 - Letterhead made for HQ Co, 3rd Battalion:  letterhead 1, letterhead 2
1945 - April - Paris Pass
1945 - SSgt Nello Arterburn - Bronze Star Award Citation
1945 May 19 - 517th Victory in Europe Prop Blast
1945 May 22 - War Letter Home from Nello Arterburn, G Co.
1945 July 23  - Bronze Star Citation for Sgt. Leon Bosse
1945 July 27 - General Order 48 - Awards of Silver an Bronze Stars (pdf*)
 for Dallas, Hughes, Kane, Kleinendorst, Markle, Zygnowicz, Mills, Guy, Hensleigh, Kendrick, and  White
(received from Becky Martinette, daughter of Maurice White)
1945 August 3 - Lt. Thomas Fred Patin Gets Silver Star - Louisiana Messenger newspaperPatin's Silver Star citation
1945 August 10 - Silver Star for William Thorng
1945 August - Passenger list from the Madawaska Victory ship
1945 - September 28 - Paratrooper Landing postcard
1945-1946 - NY Times clippings:
Truman Presents Honor Medal to 15 - NY Times, October 12, (1944?)
Brings Aid by Parachute - NY Times, January 28, 1945; David DeVarona, Red Cross Director
7,016 More Veterans Arrive From Europe - August 23, 1945;  "The greatest outfit in the Army"
168 Parachutists Refuse to Jump - NY Times, March 10, 1946
Col. Boyle Receives DSC - April 13, 1946 - NY Times
1945 - "A Record of Company C"
1945 - Capt. James Birder memorial - Notre Dame 1945
1945 - Christmas Dinner - Reg.  HQ - Ft. Bragg
1945 Dec 27 - Presidential Distinguish Unit Citation - 1st Battalion, 517 PIR
1945 - Presidential Recognition Certificate (pdf*) from Harry Truman to Gene Markle
1946? - 460th PFAB - HQ and HQ Service Battery - List of locations from 1943 Activation to 1946 Deactivation
1946 - copy of French Croix de Guerre Citation 247
1947-1948  - Blue Book Magazine articles
194?  - Postcards from Camp Mackall
????  - Paratroopers in gliders - Lt. Athey's story
????  - Melvin E. Biddle Medal of Honor citation
????  - Blood on the Risers - song lyrics on 517 stationery
1953 - Ancient Order of the Mulligan Guards
1964 - 1964 Reunion speech by Lt. Gen. John W. Bowen at Fort Bragg
1973 - September 1973 Thunderbolt - sample pages
1975 - 1975 Reunion Booklet, including tributes and biographies of seven 517th Generals
1976 - Terry Sanford for US President Campaign Brochure reprint (pdf*)

1980-1995 - 596th PCEC Newsletters:
    April 1980 (10 Mb), May 1981 (8 Mb), November 1981 (11Mb), July 1982 (5 Mb), July 1982 supplement,

      January 1983 (5Mb), May 1983 (4Mb), June 1983 (2Mb), December 1983 (4 Mb), December 1984 (8.5Mb), April 1985 (7Mb),

      December 1985 (2 Mb), Spring 1986 (4 Mb), Spring 1987 (4 Mb), January 1988 (5 Mb), Fall 1988 (4 Mb), January 1993 (19 Mb),

     1st Quarter 1995 (7 Mb), Fall 1995 (7 Mb), Winter 1995 (9 Mb)

1989 - Keynote Speech by author William B. Breuer
1993 - Letter from Bob Hope

1994 - Postcard - 50th Anniversary of Operation Dragoon

1997 - Origins of Dick Spencer's Battling Buzzard logo - Iowa University Alumni Quarterly, 1997
2000 -  From Hitler to Trujillo, an autobiography of Alfred Vorshirm, a Belgian who joined the 517th in southern France as an interpreter.
2005 August 15 - Note from President George W. Bush to the August 2005 517th Reunion, Savannah, GA

History of the 517th by Lt. Gen. Richard Seitz at the 517th Reunion, Savannah, GA, August 2005

Vice President Dick Cheney - video Washington, DC National Reunion, June 27-July 2 2007

Video interviews of 517 troopers, as used in the film documentary, "A Cut Above"